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  1. #1
    RTM
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    Carbon frame build, grease or paste?

    I'm starting to build my first carbon bike. Do I grease the headset prior to pressing it in, use carbon paste or leave it dry? Same question for the seat post.

    TIA


    - Rob
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
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    Touchy subject. One answer from a pro:

    Q. Nick,
    Iím a shop mechanic and am often concerned about applying grease near carbon components ó whenever the subject comes up the guys all get into vociferous debate. We use standard Phil Waterproof grease for most applications, sometimes Park Polylube, and other times Rock n Rollís Super Web or Slick Honey depending on the situation. With seatposts we aptly use some form of carbon paste but this isnít something youíd want with a bearing application.

    When the frame is carbon with carbon cups in an integrated headset, what is recommended for lubrication? Will the Phil damage the carbon? Do petroleum based lubrications ďdelaminateĒ carbon, as Iíve heard suggested?
    ó Michael Webber

    A. Michael,
    Grease will not delaminate carbon. Iíve asked several manufacturers if there were any special requirements in building and maintaining carbon frames. Never was there any mention of grease degrading carbon. Not sure where this myth started, but it may be the stickers on some seatposts warning of its use. This has more to do with the seatpost slipping than it does with it delaminating.

    Trek officials coached me on proper installation of bottom bracket bearings in Trekís latest Madone frames with carbon bearing cups and we used liberal amounts of grease, of almost any sort. Iíve always done the same thing in carbon headset cups.

    Keep using that carbon paste on seatposts and handlebars and keep greasing bearings before installation.
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  3. #3
    RTM
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    wow, I really thought this would be cut & dried! in fact I was ready to take my lumps for asking a dumb question that's been covered 100x! thanks for sharing.

    I should have clarified the seat post is aluminum, of course the headset cups are as well.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
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    Paste for seat post. Some manufacturers say no grease or paste for cups. I've only seen grease for cups, never paste.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't personally put grease on headset cups installing into a carbon headtube; I usually use grease in that situation to prevent galvanic corrosion and that's not (to the best of my knowledge) an issue with a carbon frame.

    When it comes to seatposts, I would go with whatever the manufacturer recommends but if they don't have any specific recommendations then I would use a carbon assembly compound like the Finish Line paste.

    For bottom brackets I would use a bit of Park Poly Lube, but most bottom bracket shells are metal lined and that's a standard recommendation for metal to metal contact.
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  6. #6
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    I would go with grease.

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